Coming off a bad loss at LSU, Kentucky responded with a strong performance. Dakari Johnson replaced Willie Cauley-Stein in the starting lineup, meaning UK started five freshmen. UK came out sharp and led from the beginning, but ran into foul troubles. A UK zone defense gave Missouri problems and a flurry by Andrew Harrison helped the Cats to maybe their best half of the year and a 42-32 lead. The Cats could not contain Missouri but the UK offense responded each time Missouri was within three points.
■ Both teams shot more than 50 percent.
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■ No UK player other than Julius Randle had more than two rebounds.
■ The game was more than 22 minutes old before Missouri had an offensive rebound.
■ Johnson had two fouls less than four minutes into the game. Cauley-Stein had three less than nine minutes into the game. Alex Poythrees had two less than 10 minutes into the game.
■ UK outscored the Tigers 18-6 in the paint in the first half. Missouri outscored UK 28-18 in the paint in the second half.
■ Slow starts have haunted UK. This time, Kentucky came out ready to play.
■ It was nice to see UK mix it up with some zone defense. You had to wonder why UK did not use it more.
■ The Harrisons were dynamic.
■ UK needs a lock-down defender. Missouri guards Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson combined for 61 points.
■ More production must come from the center spot.
Herald-Leader Staff Report